Can an employer force you to wear a holiday hat if you don’t want to?

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Can an employer force you to wear a holiday hat if you don’t want to?

My daughter is professional and works at a bank. She just called me and said that her boss (female) wants for her to wear an X-mas holiday hat. When my daughter told her that she would rather not wear it, she was told she had too and is now getting harassed from her boss. So she went to the next higher bank manager and all bosses told her she has to wear it. My daughter told them that it is not mandatory to wear them and that she never signed anything that she has to do this.

Asked on November 30, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In an "at will" employment relationship, an employer has a great deal of discretion in setting the terms and conditions of the workplace. Accordingly, it can require holiday specific attire. That is unless a dress mandate of this type violates the company's own policy, a union agreement or employment contract. Also, no form of actionable discrimination must be a factor in your daughter's treatment.

She should be aware that an at will employer can dismiss an employee for this reason, any reason or not reason at all, with or without notice. So she would be well advised to don the apparrel unless she wants to risk termination.

Note: If she is discharged over her continued refusal, it would be for cause. Therefore making her ineligible for unemployment benefits.


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